Report: It pays big to focus on diabetes drugs
- According to a report from GlobalData, the diabetes medications market grew 5.1% in 2014.
- The top 10 manufacturers of diabetes drugs generated $62 billion in revenues from those drugs last year.
- The top three companies in this therapeutic area in terms of sales are Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Merck.
Novo took the top spot in this analysis because of the tremendous success of both Victoza and Levemir, a long-acting insulin. All told, Novo made $11.3 billion on diabetes meds in 2014. As for Sanofi, sales of Lyxumia, Toujeo and inhalable Afrezza helped offset declining sales of its blockbuster Lantus, and provided $10.7 billion in sales in 2014. Meanwhile, Merck generated $7.4 billion in revenues from diabetes drugs based on the strength of its Januvia franchise. In the fourth and fifth slots Pfizer had $7.3 billion in diabetes-related sales, while Eli Lilly had $4.5 billion in sales.
All of the companies with stellar sales in the diabetes therapeutics arena have strong franchises and development goals. Notably, Novo is working on a new oral diabetes drug, OG217SC, which is an oral version of its injectable semaglutide.
There is an underlying subtext to all of this success, however. All told, 8.3% of the global population, or 387 million people, have diabetes and one in nine healthcare dollars is spent on therapy, according to the International Federation of Diabetes (IDF). The trend is only accelerating, as the IDF estimates that by 2035, 592 million people worldwide will be living with diabetes.